Chinese cars have slowly become popular in the Philippines, thanks to their affordable pricing and competitive specifications. As more and more Chinese vehicles enter the market, the more options consumers have. Here are a few bits of information as to why Chinese vehicles have become popular, and why they are being imported into the country. We go beyond the more obvious reasons— affordable production costs and tax breaks—and look deeper into why Chinese automakers are on their way to becoming industry giants
Vehicles from China are easier to import
Because of the multiple trade agreements between the Philippines and China, we get to enjoy lower prices for Chinese cars. Import taxes take up a sizable portion of a car’s price tag, that’s why there are quite a few Japanese cars that cost significantly more than a Chinese car, even if they’re similarly equipped. This arrangement allows Chinese cars to be priced competitively and better-equipped to compete in the market.
Even with the more affordable pricing, brands like Geely, Maxus, Chery, and MG are only some of the players that have created buzz in the Philippine automotive market with their quality automobiles. The ability to buy an affordable car that is built well is empowering, especially when car prices are climbing higher and higher. It was not too long ago that you could get a top-of-the-line variant with a million Philippine pesos. That’s not the case anymore, as there are a lot of models such as the MG ZS, that offer top-of-the-line specs for under P1,000,000.
Up to global standards
It wasn’t the case before, but China is now a highly industrialized country with production facilities that are world-class and relied upon by many western brands. Many European, Korean, and some Japanese brands have outsourced some or all of their production to China. Take for example Chinese brand Geely, which has already cemented itself as an industry giant by serving as the parent company of renowned Swedish brand Volvo.
Thanks to these many foreign partnerships, the Chinese industrial sector was introduced to new technologies that not only upped the quality of vehicles being made but also increased their productivity as well. It was through these partnerships with more established brands that vehicles being made in the country were steadily increasing in quality as well.
Vehicles are easier to produce in China
Because of the rapid industrialization in China, there are a lot of production facilities that make cars easy to produce in record time. Standards are being raised everyday, and while Chinese autos are catching up in many areas, they’re also pioneering in others. A brand like Geely proves that the average car buyer in the Philippines can get to experience a mild hybrid for an affordable price. The Geely Okavango is one such vehicle, offering consumers a 7-seat hybrid MPV that starts at under P1,500,000.
China has also made advancements in the Electric Vehicle (EV) sector and is now ready to compete against American-made models. With the technology boom in the country and the increase in quality of production, Chinese vehicles could soon slowly become popular all over the globe.
China is one of the biggest growing automotive markets in the world
Since China is a developing market for many, several brands have also invested a lot of money into the market by setting up shop and forming partnerships. Volkswagen has quite a few production facilities around the world, the most famous being in Mexico, but the models that we get in the Philippines are made in China by SAIC Motor. Volkswagen is actually one of, if not the most popular, car brands in China, and partnering up with SAIC was instrumental to the brand’s growth in the country. The move also opened up the floodgates for more affordable and cost-effective models to enter the Philippine market. The Volkswagen Santana is the most affordable model in the lineup, and undercuts many of its competitors while providing customers the Volkswagen experience without the hefty price tag.
The MG brand has enjoyed much success during its time in the Philippines, but that wasn’t really the case until the brand started finding its footing in the subcompact crossover market. The standout model in the lineup was the MG ZS, to bolster their ranks, MG decided a subcompact sedan would make waves in the market with upscale styling and a plethora of features for not too much money. The MG 5 is a prime choice for a lot of buyers simply because of its value for money and its style.
Even Chery Auto Philippines has gotten in on the action with its attractive and competitive range of vehicles. The Chery Tiggo 2 presents itself as an affordable entry-level crossover, while its flagship brother the Chery Tiggo 8 comes packed with technology and a smartwatch key that gives the vehicle a unique edge over its competitors.
Setting the automotive standards in the local automotive market
Thanks to China’s advancements in technology, it has been able to add new features into its vehicles that aren’t normally seen in its Japanese, European, and American counterparts. A notable feature is a 360-degree camera that has made its way into the local automotive market, which has since been well received. Cars from Geely, Chery, and MG have made the feature popular, increasing the demand for it with the car-buying public. Other features such as panoramic sunroofs have also been popularized by Chinese brands, showcasing that this feature isn’t just locked to premium or luxury models, and even the entry-level affordable vehicles can have this feature as well.